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February 19, 2004

Running Time: 0:50:32
Format: RealAudio (Requires free RealPlayer)

When regulating chemicals to protect public health, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency should consider information from studies that involve intentional dosing of humans with toxic chemicals only if such experiments meet the most stringent scientific and ethical standards, ensuring that research participants are protected and that the studies are scientifically necessary and valid, says a new report from the National Academies' National Research Council. At the same time, EPA should establish a Human Studies Review Board (HSRB) to evaluate all human dosing studies – both at the beginning and upon completion of the experiments – if they are carried out with the intent of affecting the agency's policy-making. Human testing of chemicals must be approached with the utmost caution and care, warned the committee that wrote the report.

James F. Childress (co-chair), John Allen Hollingsworth Professor of Ethics, Professor of Medical Education, and Director, Institute for Practical Ethics and Public Life, Department of Religious Studies, University of Virginia, Charlottesville.